How to Rid a Home of Pantry Moths or Weevils

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Bugs in your flour and cornmeal? Suspect pantry moths or weevils. The first line of defense is good housekeeping. Moths and weevils don't like clean surroundings so to protect your pantry you should try to minimize keeping food out that is accessible to these bugs.

Things You'll Need

  • Airtight Containers
  • Hand Towels
  • Dish Soap
  • Cannister Vacuum Cleaners
  • Kitchen Sponges
  • Check for infestation. Examine all food packages for telltale signs of moth or weevil infestation: Webbing in corners, grains clumped together with sticky secretions, or small holes in containers. Also look for small bugs in the food or little moths flying around the kitchen. If you find them, read on.

  • Clean infested areas. Vacuum cupboards, then thoroughly scrub all shelves with soapy water, paying close attention to cracks and corners. Dry the cleaned area thoroughly. Keep cupboard and food-storage areas dry.

  • Discard infested food.

  • Store food properly. Clean containers with hot, soapy water, then rinse and dry them thoroughly before refilling. Use tightly sealed metal, glass or hard plastic containers to store food; plastic bags are inadequate, as insects can get through them. Keep old and new food separate, and keep infrequently used items in the freezer.

  • Eliminate the pests' food sources (such as improperly stored food) and breeding grounds (such as rodent nests).

Tips & Warnings

  • Pantry moth larvae eat a wide assortment of foods, ranging from flour to dried chiles and candy.
  • It takes six to eight weeks for the pantry moth to complete its life cycle.
  • Do not use pesticides in or around any area where food is prepared or on food itself.

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